Jaime Harrison, the Democratic challenger to Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), has shattered Senate fundraising records by hauling in $57 million during the third quarter.
The previous quarterly record of $38 million was set by Beto O’Rourke, during the former candidate’s failed bid to unseat Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) in 2018. Harrison’s total contributions in the third quarter of 2020 total twice as much as Graham has raised in the previous six quarters combined.
Democrats and affiliated organizations have upped their fundraising campaigns in a bid to win a Senate majority by focusing on competitive races. Harrison and Graham are currently in a dead heat, with the latest Quinnipiac poll showing both candidates with 48 percent support among likely voters.
The push to unseat Graham, the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, comes as Senate Republicans move to swiftly confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Barrett’s nomination to replace liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has enraged Democratic donors. Harrison has repeatedly accused Graham of hypocrisy for endorsing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to hold a vote on President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merick Garland, during an election year, only to reverse himself by lining up to support a confirmation vote for Amy Coney Barrett.
If elected, Harrison would be the first Democratic senator to represent South Carolina in over two decades.
“Not even Jaime could have predicted this level of enthusiasm and financial support,” Clay Middleton, a Democratic National Committee member advising the Harrison campaign, told the New York Times.
Graham, however, has insisted he will be able to hold on to his seat.
“We’re taking it very seriously,” Graham told Bloomberg regarding the Harrison campaign. However, “I think I will win decisively when it’s all said and done. I’m on the right side of the issues.”
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